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3/22/2006

EAR PLUGS
I've had a stack of CD's on the To Do stack for a couple of weeks - not coincidentally, since about the time I started my Loafing efforts. Since the Loafing is actually paying me for my efforts, and I only have so much spare time, you, loyal subscribers, are getting sad leftovers these days. So fire up the microwave for some scraps!
I got a CD from Wrinkle Neck Mules, Pull the Brake, from local label Shut Eye Records. I have no patience with 90% of stuff in the Americana vein. It's just a matter of taste. I find this sound lifeless and monotonous and often the subject matter is too matter-of-fact for me. I either need more testosterone, a la AC/DC, or more imagination, a la Hope for a Golden Summer, in my music.
Wrinkle Neck Mules' CD is a well put together, perfectly clear recording of mostly acoustic music that ranges from slightly more bluegrassy tunes to slightly more electric moments to slightly more country sounds. It's very much like The Gourds from Austin, TX, particularly in the slightly exaggerated southern accent vocal stylings. They know how to play, sing, and harmonize. It's a fine Americana CD. Degenerate SW loves this kind of stuff so I'll give it to her and you can ask her what she thinks if you're interested, or check out www.wrinkleneckmules.com

We got the CD, You have no idea!, from local act What TheÖ? It's got fuzzy guitars, uptempo beats, and an obvious 60's garage influence. This probably took a lot less work to put together than the Wrinkle Neck Mules, but for me sometimes simpler is better. It's not great, but it doesn't make me want to go to sleep. Rather than a pause between tracks, many tunes on You have no idea! transition directly from one song to the next, which provides a party-like continuous groove. There is some skilled guitar work here, and a nice use of horns and piano from time to time, but there's some spark missing here that I can't put my finger on. It's just a bitÖ limp. See what they have to say at www.what-the.com


BLASPHEMY
I stopped reading Stomp & Stammer a few months back. Basically I got tired of getting pissed off. Sure, they have (or had) nice local music listings and news, and if Jeff Clark liked something Iíd probably like it too. If he really hated something and went on and on about how much he hated it, I probably liked whatever that was as well, so I got something out of it. But the right wing/libertarian rants pissed me off so much that eventually I decided I didnít have to read something that gave me more annoyance than pleasure. So I stopped reading it entirely and life has been good.
In a subject that seems unrelated but will tie in shortly, I have made it a point to stay out of the local sceneís drama. Iíve got a few very good friends I care about deeply. Then there are a bunch of folks that I like, but donít get too close to.

Homer: Hey, Barney! Soul mate! Let me buy you a beer.
Barney: Okay, but I'm not your soul mate. I'm really more of a chum.
Homer: Well, what about you, Lenny?
Lenny: I'm a crony.
Homer: Carl?
Carl: I'd say acquaintance.
[pans to others]
Larry: Colleague.
Sam: Sympathizer.
Bumblebee Man: Compadre.
Kearney: Associate.
Dr. Hibbert: Contemporary.
Moe: I'm a well-wisher, in that I don't wish you any specific harm.
From The Simpsons

I like the nightlife, I gots to boogie, but I also like having a stable job that requires relatively little effort for the money. Unfortunately, this involves getting up at a reasonable hour 5 days a week. Having more and/or closer friends who are creatures of the night, with the music they make, would be challenging at best.
So lately Iíve heard rumors of (yet another) Stomp and Stammer/Star Bar flame war. You havenít read anything about it in this publication because A, I didnít know (see above), B, didnít care to know (see above) and C, I haven ít had to pick sides because Iím not that close to anyone involved (see
above.)
But being made accidentally aware of this situation has inspired me to write something Iíve mentioned in passing many times but I want to reiterate in detail.

I donít write any review, positive or negative, of any creative effort based on my personal feelings toward the individual(s) involved. I review things based on their own merits, not the merits of their creators. This goes for bands, venues, visual arts, movies, festivals Ė anything. Itís not that I donít care who you are as a person (I donít.) Itís that I have enough drama in my personal life and I donít need to go out there and seek or create more.
So you can be as nice to me as you want, but if your creation still sucks donkey dick I wonít hesitate to write about it. You can be a complete an utter ass and Iíll do my best to let it slide and give your work an honest review. I donít care what color you are, how much or little money you make, who you know, who your friends are, who your enemies are, or even what your goals are in your efforts. I donít want the backstory, just show me the work and let it speak for itself.
Sure, part of this probably comes from some deep-rooted fear of intimacy, but part of this comes from my experience in years of this publication and in my training in art school. I know how to give an honest critique.
So if youíre looking for petty personal disputes, watch some reality TV, pay more attention to bar patrons and management, or check out other local publications. Iím not saying weíre better than that (yes, I am), just different.

Since youíre basically getting sloppy seconds after the Loafing hereís some filler. I'm a big fan of Dan Savage's column. It is equally entertaining and informative. This week it's less entertaining than an informative call to
action:
Straight Rights Update: Earlier this month, Republicans in South Dakota successfully banned abortion in that state. Last week, the GOP-controlled state house of representatives in Missouri voted to ban state-funded family-planning clinics from dispensing birth control. "If you hand out contraception to single women," one Republican state rep told the Kansas City Star, "we're saying promiscuity is okay." On the federal level, Republicans are blocking the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception and keeping a 100 percent effective HPV vaccineóa vaccine that will save the lives of thousands of women every yearófrom being made available.
The GOP's message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no life-saving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. You're going to have those babies, ladies, and you're going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen. And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that's too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.
What's it going to take to get a straight-rights movement off the ground?
The GOP in Kansas is seeking to criminalize hetero heavy petting, for God's sake! Wake up and smell the freaking Holy War, breeders! The religious right hates heterosexuality just as much as it hates homosexuality. Fight back!
www.avclub.com/content/node/46583

Oh, and speaking of the Loafing, run to your news stand and get the latest, or just click this:
http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A39668
Also notice on in the left column "More Frederick Noble." I suspect this is automatically generated 'cause there's stuff on there I barely remember writing, it was so long ago. Crap, I thought the Degenerate Press archives were out of date!
 


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